Graduate Admission

Requirements & Process

Returning to school is convenient at Golden Gate University. The following are the requirements to get started in a degree or certificate program.

Great news! Our admissions process just got even easier. GGU will now order and pay for transcripts from your previous colleges and universities.

Admission Process

The Office of Enrollment Services, in consultation with the appropriate faculty, reviews all documents received, including official academic records from other institutions, standardized test scores, personal statement, professional resumes, letters of recommendation, personal interviews, and any other relevant information.

  • Applicants whose academic preparation does not meet the university admission criteria, but who show potential for academic achievement, may be offered conditional or provisional admission with the approval of the appropriate academic department.
  • Applicants who have been denied admission may not register for classes, and must wait a minimum of one year before applying again at the same academic level.
  • Once submitted, all application materials become the property of the university and cannot be returned.

Admission Requirements

Degree Program Admission

For admission to degree programs and certificate programs you must:
  • Hold an earned bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited US institution or the equivalent from a recognized foreign (outside the US) institution;
  • Demonstrate academic and professional capability to study at the graduate level;
  • Possess quantitative, writing, and computing skills needed to succeed in a competitive and dynamic environment.
  • Satisfy any additional criteria as required for admission to a specific degree program.
  • Students whose native language is not English must satisfy the English Language Requirements. Link English Language Requirements to International page.
To be considered for admission to the graduate program, you should provide the following:
  • Admission Application Form and Fee: The completed application form with the nonrefundable application fee ($65 for domestic graduate degree applicants; $65 for domestic graduate certificate applicants; $65 for domestic doctoral candidates; and $65 for all international applicants) should be sent to the Office of Admissions.
  • Official Academic Transcripts: Graduate applicants must submit transcripts from the degree-granting undergraduate institution. The transcripts must clearly state that a bachelor's degree or an industry standard equivalents been conferred. However, to maximize transfer credit, we recommend submitting transcripts from all institutions attended. Transcripts must be sent to the Office of Enrollment Services directly from other schools, colleges, or universities issuing the documents. Tip: GGU can make your admissions process easier! We will order and pay for your transcripts to be sent directly to our admissions team.
  • Test Scores:
    • A GMAT or GRE score is required of MBA degree applicants unless the applicant meets the criteria for an exception:
      • Master’s degree earned from a regionally accredited U.S. institutio.
      • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.20 in studies leading to a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
      • CPA License
      • 5+ years of professional managerial work experience or 4+ years of military experience (with submission of petition and resume
    • Applicants whose first (native) language is not English, must meet the English Language Proficiency Admission Requirements.
    • Test score reports must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to the Admissions Office.
    • GGU has approved the use of Duolingo's online English Test in the place of TOEFL, IELTS and PTE. This policy is for applicants whose TOEFL or IELTS test appointments have been canceled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Personal Statement (Optional): In cases where the academic history of an applicant does not meet the minimum admission requirements, it is recommended that a written personal evaluation be submitted with the application materials. The statement should give a realistic appraisal of any academic work since graduation from high school. Note any inconsistencies in the academic record and the reasons for them. In addition, include a plan to affirm a commitment to academic success while attending Golden Gate University. Applicants are encouraged to be as forthright and open as possible, and should feel free to discuss unusual circumstances or situations of adversity that may have influenced their current values. Be aware that both the quality of the writing and the thoughtfulness of the statement will be evaluated. Additional documents such as statement of purpose and resume may be required by program.

Please note: All application materials become the property of the university and cannot be returned.

Graduate Writing Proficiency

Graduate students are expected to possess proficiency in writing to ensure they can be successful in their course of study. Students may satisfy the Graduate Writing Proficiency Requirement by one of the following options:

  • Earned an undergraduate or graduate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution of higher learning, or
  • Earned at least the grade of “B” in a graduate writing course from a regionally accredited U.S. institution of higher learning, or
  • Passed a U.S. nationally recognized professional/career exam that includes a significant written component such as the CPA, CFP, Bar Exam, or Foreign Service Officer exam, or
  • Waived by Dean, Department Chair, or Program Director, based on the applicant’s submission of an Enrollment Services Petition form, or
  • Completed the Graduate Business Writing Bootcamp by the end of the student’s first term of enrollment.

Graduate Business Proficiency

Graduate students in the Edward S. Ageno School of Business (except DBA, EMPA, and Psychology) are required to possess an understanding of United States business practices. Students can meet this requirement with one of the following:


Graduate Math Proficiency

Graduate programs may require a math proficiency to ensure that you are successful in your course of study. Please refer to the required math proficiencies in the university catalog.

Schedule a Math Placement Exam


International Applicants

See Additional Requirements & Considerations


Certificate Program Admission

Requirements for Admission to a GGU Certificate Program:
  • To apply for certificate programs, students should submit an admission application and fee.
  • Students must certify that they have been awarded an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited US institution or the equivalent from a recognized non-US institution. Applicants with degrees from US institutions that are not regionally accredited may be considered for admission on an exception basis. Some certificate programs may require students to submit unofficial transcripts from prior institutions to demonstrate that they satisfy proficiencies, foundation, or prerequisite courses.
  • Certificate students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. An official test score report or other proof of fulfillment of GGU’s English Language Proficiency Admission Requirement is required for all applicants whose native language is not English.
  • Many certificate courses have prerequisite course requirements that must also be satisfied. Prerequisites may be satisfied through transfer of equivalent coursework from external institutions or by taking the courses at GGU. It is not guaranteed that every course required for a given certificate will be offered every term.
  • Admitted certificate program students are required to maintain applicable academic progress standards, including grade-point average. See Academic Standing Standards for more information.
  • All courses required for a graduate certificate program must be completed at Golden Gate University. No transfer credit is granted. Courses earned at GGU in a certificate program may also be used toward a degree program at the university.
  • The certificate will be awarded at the end of the trimester in which the student successfully completes all of the coursework and submits a Certificate of Completion Request form to the Office of Records and Registration.
  • Certificate programs may be ineligible for Title IV federal financial aid. Check with your enrollment counselor to confirm eligibility for each program.

Open Enrollment Admission

The Open Enrollment Program is intended for students enrolling in courses for the purposes of continuing education and personal enrichment or students who have applied for admission to a program of study and, as yet, have not been notified of their admission status. Students in the latter category may register in Open Enrollment for a maximum of nine (9) graduate units prior to admission with maximum 2 terms while the application is being processed.

To register for graduate courses in open enrollment status, you must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited US institution or the equivalent from a recognized foreign (outside the US) institution; Open enrollment does not require submission of transcripts or GMAT scores.

Open enrollment is not available to international students in Student Visa/ Scholar Visa status who have applied for, but have not received, admission to the university, with an exception for international students with valid immigration status at another college- level institution, have written authorization from that institution to enroll in classes at Golden Gate University and have met GGU's academic and English language requirements.

Non-native speakers of English must meet the English Language Proficiency Admission Requirements.

Open enrollment students are required to maintain good academic standing to register for courses and to remain enrolled. Evidence of good academic standing for a graduate student is a minimum 3.00 cumulative grade point average. Students who fall below this standard will not be permitted to register for subsequent terms.

Students registered in open enrollment status are not eligible for financial aid.

Please refer to GGU Catalog - Open Enrollment for further details.

Open Enrollment students are required to have each course approved by an advisor prior to registering each term. Permission to register for individual courses is based on prior academic performance and preparation in appropriate prerequisites.

Students registered in open enrollment status are not eligible to earn certificates or degrees. However, after gaining admission to a program, courses completed in open enrollment status are applicable to degree and certificate programs on a limited basis. A maximum of nine (9) units of coursework completed in Open Enrollment status may be used toward meeting requirements for a graduate degree or certificate program.

Open Enrollment students are subject to the same Academic Progress and Grade Standards as degree or certificate students.


An application may remain in pending status for up to one calendar year from the date on which it was received in the Office of Enrollment Services. If the file is not completed within that year, the application will expire and the documents associated with that application will be destroyed. Admission is valid for the term for which you were admitted, and the two subsequent terms. If you do not enroll during that time period (approximately one year), the offer of admission is cancelled and the documents associated with that application will be destroyed. Re-applying after that time will require a new application, application fee, and the submission of all transcripts and other required credentials.

Degree students wishing to change their degree objective or area of concentration must file a "Change of Degree Program/Major" request and submit it to the Office of Records and Registration. Students on academic probation may apply for a change of program. If the dean of the school in which the new program is housed determines that your qualifications meet the requirements of the new program, the application will be forwarded to the Committee for Admissions and Academic Probation (CAAP) for review. Applicants who want to change their degree program prior to an admission decision should submit the request to applications@ggu.edu. There is no charge for this process.

You can check your application status, upload your application documents, submit a defer request, download your admissions letter, and accept or reject your application admissions from the application portal or via email at applications@ggu.edu.

Certificate students who wish to enter a degree program should submit the appropriate admission application and all required supporting documents and fees. If admitted to a degree program, students will be required to fulfill the degree requirements to that program in effect at the time of admission. In addition to prior school records and test scores, performance in certificate course work at Golden Gate is used as a criterion for admission to degree programs.

Open enrollment is a registration program, but does not constitute admission to the university. Students who wish to change from open enrollment to a degree or certificate program should apply for admission online or request a mailed application.